The Presidency has denied financing the groups that are currently canvassing support for the second term ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Special Adviser to the President on Political Matters, Prof Rufai Ahmed Alkali, who made this known in an interview with reporters in Abuja yesterday, denied insinuations that the activities of the various groups are funded by the Presidency. Besides, he described Jonathan as a law-abiding leader.
According to Alkali, most of the pro-Jonathan groups voluntarily came under the umbrella of the Goodluck Support Group (GSG) for proper coordination and administrative convenience and nothing more.
Alkali is the national coordinator of the GSG.
“I want to reiterate that these groups are completely independent and self-financing and the Presidency does not in any way foot the bills for the activities of these groups,” he said.
“They are voluntary non-governmental organisations and every Nigerian is aware that these NGOs source their funds independent of government”.
The political adviser explained that members of these groups are Nigerians who are appreciative of the achievements of President Jonathan and have been exercising their fundamental right of freedom of association and free speech.
He said the president as a law abiding citizen, cannot jump the gun to start any form of campaign since the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has not yet lifted the ban on political campaigns for the election.
“Apart from being a law abiding citizen, President Jonathan is also a true and loyal member of the PDP and the party has not yet brought out guidelines for the conduct of its primaries and convention.
“Mr. President has not even declared yet and campaigns cannot commence unless there is a formal declaration of intent to contest the 2015 presidential election”, Alkali added.